Dolphins, Elephants, Whatever

Active duty and Air Force Reserve Command airmen transported four dolphins and their handlers from the Navy’s Marine Mammals Program in San Diego to New Caledonia, where they were to help locate and dispose of more than 200 World War II-era contact mines. An AFRC C-17 from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March ARB, Calif., took the first leg, and a C-17 from the 535th Airlift Squadron at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, took the final leg. US forces joined with military members from Australian, French, and New Zealand for Lagoon Minex 2009 to collect the mines because they were beginning to affect New Caledonia’s two main industries, nickel mining and fishing. (Among other unusual cargo, a USAF C-17 transported an elephant.) (Hickam report by TSgt. Cohen Young)